Tellico Grains Bakery

Stories, Recipes, and Adventures from a Village Bakery

A Bakery from Scratch

We get asked a lot how we ended up in in this little town.  It is family that brought us to East Tennessee but it is the natural beauty and simplicity of this place that captured our hearts and convinced us to begin our journey here.

Twelve years have passed since Stuart and I arrived in Tellico Plains with nothing more than the idea that we wanted to start a wood-fired bakery and the determination to do it.  Being oddly optimistic, childless, and twelve years younger helped a lot. 

Looking back at these renovation pictures makes me wonder how we did it.  I guess we were invigorated once the building began to reveal its character. Nothing was going to stop us from finishing what we started.

I remember coming in that first day thinking we were just going to roll up the wet carpet and put on some fresh paint to get rid of that musty smell.

reno scans day 1

 It never occurred to us what a huge undertaking we had just gotten ourselves into.  

Slowly, and not so surely, we conquered rotting roofs,

renovation-3

rotting walls,

reno rootwall

rotting floors,

reno basement

and dangerous things hanging in mid air. reno scans-6

 And we still had to build our wood-fired brick oven.

reno oven

and make display cases and shelves for when the people show up. 
reno pastry case

 We made quite a scene for almost nine months.

Plenty of folks poked their head in to tell us we would never make it and a few gave us much needed words of encouragement.  

reno sandblast

When the time came to open our doors we were so scared no one would come.  

But alas, the people did come and over the past eleven years we have gotten to know them and watched their children grow up and make memories at our bakery.  

 The transformation of our lives and of this building into the bakery that it is today has been a  rewarding and humbling adventure.  

We are so grateful to our family and friends for not telling us we were crazy out loud even though we know that is what they were thinking.

DSC01569 It is our hope that we can continue to provide our little town and all the folks who come to visit with good food and fond memories for many years to come!

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18 Comments

  • Jim Myers says:

    Your bakery is my normal Saturday destination on my bike ride. Always great food and enjoy the European style visiting with strangers.

  • David Gwin says:

    Truly incredible journey that I am so glad you undertook. Peace

  • Teena says:

    I love your story. I know for a fact that Tellico Plains township and bakery will always be a place of fond memories for myself. My daughter and I took a trip (she planned) to Tellico Plains and I also fell in love with the town and bakery. My daughter and I laugh together many times about going to the bakery and buying things to “take home” to the family, but somehow it just didn’t make it….we ate it on the way.
    I hope to return to Tellico Plains someday and maybe this time I will manage to get home with some of your great goodies.

  • Dee Bowes says:

    I love coming here & don’t go enough. Everything is delicious.

  • Sharon Smith says:

    I have visited a few times on my way to the smokies from Winfield, alabama. It’s a wonderful experience. The food is great and we meet the nicest people to share a table with. Hope to come by on our next trip!! Please have coconut cookies when I get there:)

  • Glenda Robinson says:

    Whenever I visit my sister in Tellico Plains….I love to go by Tellico Grains Bakery for some tasty bread and sweet treats….love the cheesecake brownie!!!!!

  • Cathy B Hartley says:

    It’s the center of the Universe!! One can taste the love in every bakery bite!!!

  • Carla Palmer says:

    Great story. It is very impressive what you two have been able to accomplish with hard work and optimism . If more young people would follow your lead small rural communities would have a chance of surviving. I love your place and your passion!

  • Caroline Barney says:

    Hi. Congratulations on your success. We watched you grow and expand, all while raising two sweet daughters. Loved our morning coffees there and delicious bread. Caroline

  • Rick Norwood says:

    My wife and I drove up from Harrison, TN today. We had lunch before driving on the Cherohalla Skyway. The bakery was awesome and the sandwich was fantastic. We enjoyed meeting everyone and we are certainly going to make Tellico Grains a regular stop for us. We too are here helping my parents in their final years, but also have grown to love the people and the East TN way of life. So glad you didn’t give up on your dream and your vision. Like a wise man once told me… if it was easy, everyone would do it! Blessings, Rick & Lynda!

  • Jamie Ryan says:

    I married into an amazing family 4 years ago, and luckily enough a part of them live here in Tellico Plains and we are from Ohio. We talk to our friends at home about your bakery all the time and can’t wait to come down and visit so we can make a few stops during our trip at the bakery. My family has bonded over this bakery and it gives us a topic to chat about often. Thank you for all your hard work there because all your food is amazing and we are lucky we have your place to come to and bond with our family that we love so much. Jamie

  • Camille Dillon says:

    I love the Tellico Grains Bakery!Everything is so yummy!I especially love the chocolate & ham n’ cheese croissants and not to mention the HOT CHOCOLATE!!Great place & great people!

  • Laura says:

    I recently made a trip from Austin, Texas to East Tennessee to visit extended family. I was seeking somewhere new and found this gem! I made several visits while I was there and made sure I was there for pizza on Saturday! It was all so wonderful – from the bread, pastries, and coffee to the employees and the atmosphere. I am looking forward to another visit in the hills of Tennessee. Thank you for the memories, Tellico Grains Bakery!

  • Joseph Bull says:

    Visited your shop in Sept while doing a ride loop on our bike. We are from Ontario. Loved the place the food the service. An unexpected pleasure.

  • Doris says:

    Visit your bakery often love the brownies especially the oatmeal cookies I have even tried to make them but failed nothing like yours . Be seeing you again

  • April White says:

    I am so glad that you chose the little town of Tellico Plains for your bakery and most of all for a place to call home. When I talk about what all Tellico Plains has to offer I always…always…ask “have you heard about our bakery?”
    Please don’t ever leave!

  • pat vickers says:

    Just bought one of your banana walnut cakes YUM! From three rivers in Knoxville, will be buying more in the future. Please continue your baking, I plan on trying more of your wonderful baked goods, you can tell it is baked with love.
    Pat, knoxville

  • Libby Grant says:

    Our family happened upon your bakery and fell in love with the place. You see, we drove into town late (4pm ish) on a Sunday from Atlanta. We were hungry, tired from driving, and all 3 kids were cranky and no one was open except the bakery. We were surprised to find we could order pizza and drinks which we ate outside. The kids wanted treats so I sent them back in to buy some. The girls decided to share a roll because it was so big. When the waitress came to bring out the roll she had 3 other treats as well. She said it was closing time and had to discard them and would rather they go to the girls. Not one morsel went to waste! We are planning a trip back to Tellico Cabins and can’t wait to stop at the bakery again!

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